The HSO’s Young Artists Competition is an elite concerto competition open to all Connecticut residents in grades 9-12. Contestants compete for cash awards and a chance to solo with the HSO at The Bushnell.

APPLICATION OPENS September 11, 2023

Application deadline: Thursday, February 1, 2024

Early application deadline: Friday, December 15, 2023

Semifinals: Saturday, April 20, 2024

Finals Concert: Saturday, May 18, 2024

  • Contestants must be Connecticut residents in grades 9-12 during the 2023-2024 academic year.
  • Previous first-place winners of HSO’s Young Artists Competition are not eligible.
  • Contestants must perform on one of the following instruments:
    • Flute
    • Oboe
    • Clarinet
    • Bassoon
    • Horn
    • Trumpet
    • Trombone
    • Tuba
    • Saxophone
    • Percussion
    • Harp
    • Piano
    • Violin
    • Viola
    • Cello
    • Bass
    • Guitar

Complete applications must include:

  • Online application form
  • Performance videos
  • $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Optional: headshot and bio

Scholarships are available to cover the application fee. If you are in need of financial assistance, please email us at and include “Scholarships” in the subject line.

Click here to apply!

First Round of Competition

  • Contestants must submit video recordings of two (2) pieces using the digital application form. Click here for tips about recording your videos. 
  • One piece must be a movement, or excerpt of a movement, of a concerto or similar large-scale work for solo instrument and orchestra.* The second piece should be an encore-style work for solo instrument that is no more than 5 minutes long.
  • The concerto excerpt must be recorded with live piano accompaniment. Please contact us if you need assistance finding an accompanist.
  • Each recording should be a maximum of five (5) minutes long. Please indicate appropriate measure numbers on your application.
  • Each recording (piece) must be unedited. Only single-take recordings will be considered.
  • All music must be memorized.

* Repertoire is subject to approval by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Semi-Final Round of Competition

  • Selected contestants must perform their entire concerto movement with piano accompaniment.
  • You must perform the same concerto as you recorded for the First Round.
  • The top five (5) contestants will advance to the Final Round.

Final Round of Competition

  • Five Finalists will perform their concerto movement live with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
  • The top three winners will perform a solo encore piece (this must be the same piece you submitted for the First Round).
  • The 1st Place winner will be offered an opportunity to perform with the HSO.

1st Place $1000

2nd Place $750

3rd Place $500

Thank you to our 2022-2023 Young Artist Competition Sponsors! 

The Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
Jeffrey and Nancy Hoffman
Dara Ribicoff

With additional support from:

Acorn Alcinda Foundation

Judith and Ken Boudreau

Donna Collins

Ruth Ann C. Davis

Hollis Dorman

Michelle Duffy and Robert Connell

Lois A. Muraro and Carl J. Elsishans

Bob and Frankie Goldfarb

Rona B. Gollob

Arnold Greenberg

Wendy M. Haller

Laura Harris

Barbara and Jerry Hess

Helen and Don Hughlett

Lois and Charles Koteen

Irene Loretto

Barbara and Thomas Mitchell

Katherine Papathanasis

Mary and Frank Petras

Allan and Joan Reiskin

Joseph Spada

Andrew and Feather Spearman

Diane and Gary Whitney

Winstanley Enterprises, LLC

Frequently Asked Questions

Any piece that features a solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment.

Yes, please upload separate videos for each piece.

Clearly label your files in the following format: “Your Name, Title of Work” (including movement).

For example, “Timothy Brown, Gershwin Concerto in F, First Mvmt.”

We’re happy to help you! Email us at for further assistance.